17:24 GMT +323 June 2018
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    A photo taken on September 7, 2017 shows damage in Orient Bay on the French Carribean island of Saint-Martin, after the passage of Hurricane Irma

    Russia Ready to Assist Caribbean Countries Devastated by Hurricane Irma

    © AFP 2018 / Lionel CHAMOISEAU
    Latin America
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    Russia's Emergencies Ministry said Saturday it is ready to provide assistance to the Caribbean countries hit by the devastating Hurricane Irma, which has been raging in the region since Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Vladimir Puchkov, the head of the ministry, said Russia is ready to provide assistance in case at a request.

    "Our rescue teams, our high technologies and the Russian Humanitarian Response Corps are ready to provide assistance and support in this difficult situation to the countries affected by Irma, at request," Puchkov told reporters.

    The minister added that the relevant proposal had already been made to foreign colleagues.

    Irma descended on Caribbean islands on Wednesday, striking St Barthelemy and St Martin. It has caused widespread devastation in the northern Caribbean, with low-lying islands most affected.

    Irma, the strongest storm to hit the Atlantic in a decade, strengthened back to category 5 on Friday night. It has maximum sustained winds of 160 miles per hour.

    The eye of the storm is forecast to move near the north coast of Cuba through Saturday, near the Florida Keys on Sunday morning, and then near the southwest coast of Florida on Sunday afternoon.


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